Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TOFU!


Mmm..Tofu.

Admittedly the first few times I had tofu I said "eww..tofu" But then I had it prepared just right for my taste at the time and I havent looked back since.

My first impression of tofu was as it looks above: a white block of flavorless "stuff". But then I came to realize that it is really a blank slate of endless food possiblities


Fried tofu, General tso's tofu, shake and bake tofu, tofu scramble. These were my first encounters with tofu after i started liking it. Three of these ways i prepared myself.

Look what tofu can turn into:

veganyumyum.com

tofufortwo.net




When i started eating a more plant based diet tofu was $3 and I was broke. I knew I had to get the cooking right or I would have to eat something that was inedible rather than waste $3. Witht he advent of diet acceptance the market value of tofu has changed and you can find a tub of tofu for $1.50 at you local Trader Joe's (I love you Joe! Call me! Let's make lunch!).

So go buy a few tubs and experiment. I suggest you bake one, fry one and scramble one. This will give you an idea of the textual variations.

For beginners firm tofu is a great place to start. It has a great chewy texture.
Tofu is a blank slate flavor wise, so choose a spice or seasong you like and go wild. You can also soak the tofu in marinade (over night or for a few hours or just a few minutes) and then prepare it as you wish.

Italian Scrambled Tofu


1 can diced Tomato drained (but save the juice in a jar for soup)
1/2 to 1 cup frozen or fresh Spinach
1 medium onion sliced thinly
2 cloves of fresh Garlic (2 t powder)
1 Block of Firm Tofu
Extra add ins: 1/4 c mushrooms, 2 T nutritional yeast, dash of cayenne powder)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oile then throw in the tofu. Break it up with a spoon and spread it our evenly in the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes so the bottom begins to brown then stir it so all sides get browned. When its done scoop it into a bowl.

Heat 1 T olive oil then add onion. When lightly browned add in garlic and saute then add spinach and tomato.

Add tofu back in and let sit over low heat a few minutes to heat the tofu back up to temperature and let the flavors meld with the tofu.

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

fried tofu


Drain tofu and slice into thin rectangles. Pat with paper towels.

Optional step: Sprinkle with seasoning of choice or soak in marinade of choice.

Heat up 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add in the tofu when it is hot.

Brown both sides of tofu and then put on paper towel to dry and cool.

While it is hot sprinkle with seasoning of choice (if you are already familiar with nutritional yeast try a blend of nutritional yeast and sea salt with a small sprinkle of garlic powder).

How to eat this: Right off the plate, as the "meat" of a sandwich, as the "meat" in a stir fry, or as a side dish for an extra boost of protein in your meal.

Enjoy!

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